On tonight’s episode of “Arrow,” the team traveled to Russia to track down the rogue general that tried to frame Diggle. This return to Russia put Oliver in a difficult position with the Bratva. In the flashbacks, Talia continued to train Oliver, he even used "You have failed this city," for the first time. In Star City, Quentin Lance was back from rehab, and his alliance with Rene proved to be hilarious and heart-warming. Journalist Susan Williams continued to secretly dig up dirt on Oliver, which led her to the startling idea that Oliver could actually be the Green Arrow. While Prometheus was absent again this week, his threat against Oliver lingered, which forced Oliver to confront some of his demons with Felicity and Diggle.
No Clean Hands
"Arrow" began with a bright spot of celebration tonight, as Diggle was officially cleared of all charges from the military. This moment of joy was interrupted when General Walker escaped custody and fled to Russia with a nuke. Oliver assembled the team -- Felicity, Diggle, Curtis, Rory, and Dinah -- and chartered a jet to track Walker down. At the airport he met Anatoly, who punched him for allowing harm to come to fellow Bratva memeber Alexi Leonov, back in Season 2. Anatoly refused to work with Oliver unless he performed a task for him, something worthy of a low-level Bratva thug. When Oliver refused to be a thug for the Bratva, Felicity used Pandora (the hacker file she was given in "Second Chances") to blackmail a Russian into giving her tracking software. When Walker avoided their capture, Oliver captured one of Walker's men.
At first, Oliver threatened the man with torture, but didn't actually harm him. When this scare tactic didn't work, Oliver and Dinah agreed to perform a job for the Bratva. While Oliver was apprehensive about getting his hands dirty again as a thug, he knew how to handle himself. When he returned from the mission, he found Diggle ruthlessly torturing Walker's man. After that, Oliver found out that Felicity blackmailed someone -- this spurned an intimate conversation with the two of them about 'lines that shouldn't be crossed.' Oliver conveyed that while he was OK with getting his hands dirty, that he wanted to protect Felicity and Diggle from crossing any lines they couldn't come back from.
Oliver believed that if his team lost their moral compass, that Prometheus would have been right, and that he would have poisoned his team. While Diggle and Felicity were apologetic, Diggle reminded Oliver that they don't just make him better, that he makes them better too. The Bratva then provided Oliver with Walker's location, and the team was able to take him down. Diggle's second test of morality came when he pulled a gun on Walker. Walker egged Diggle on to kill him, but Diggle decided to let Walker live. Diggle knew he couldn't make the same mistake he made with his brother Andy, which was to kill him in cold blood.
The capture of Walker came at a very steep price, not for Oliver, but for Rory. When Walker's nuke was armed, Rory decided to use his rags to stop the blast. While his rags did keep the blast contained, they were too damaged to be used again. The powerful and enchanted gift that his father bestowed upon him was gone. This caused Rory to leave the team, because he felt like he was a liability. Hopefully Rory returns to the show, but for now, he's gone.
Back in the Mayor's Office
After spending a few months in rehab, Quentin Lance was back this week. Lance has been a valuable cast member on this show for five years, and it was great to see him back. With Oliver in Russia, Lance was put in charge of the Mayor's Office -- and Rene was put in charge of Lance. Rene grilled Lance about his sobriety, about his time in rehab, and his guilt from Laurel's death, all to prepare him for an upcoming interview with Susan Williams. At first, they were like oil and water, but by the end of the episode they had built mutual respect and trust. Rene even confided in Lance that when Lance was a beat cop, he inspired Rene to be more than a street thug.
In the flashbacks, Talia continued to train Oliver in the art of archery and concealment. She even reminded Oliver about his father's list. When Oliver and Talia caught up with a dealer who was supplying drugs to Starling City, he got to use his famous line for the first time "You have failed Starling City." Oliver agreed to return to Starling City to right his father's wrongs, but first he needed to finish getting vengeance on Gregor or Kovar for the Bratva.
The episode concluded with Oliver's return home and the consummation of his relationship with Susan. Up to this point they had not slept together -- unfortunately when Susan saw Oliver's Russian tattoo, she knew that he was in the Bratva. When she called her investigator, he brought her images of the Arrow in Russia the same time Oliver was, five years ago. Until now, Oliver had been able to avoid being connected to the Green Arrow, but Susan could blow that story wide open. This might be a good time for Oliver to pull an "I am the Green Arrow" moment.
Next week on “Arrow,” the Mayor's Office comes under gun fire, when someone attacks City Hall. This attack will parallel flashbacks that will center on Rene and his journey to becoming Wild Dog.
“Spectre of the Gun” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (TV-14, LV) (HDTV)WILD DOG’S HISTORY IS REVEALED — A traumatic attack on City Hall triggers painful memories for Rene (Rick Gonzalez) about his family. Flashbacks reveal how Rene went from simple family man to a hero named Wild Dog. Meanwhile, Oliver (Stephen Amell) must deal with the perpetrator behind the attack and realizes the best way to do so is as Mayor Queen instead of the Green Arrow. Tensions run high in the Arrow bunker. Kristin Windell directed the episode written by Marc Guggenheim (#513). Original airdate 2/15/2017.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland and more.